A Golden Retriever puppy curled up on your bed--what could be cuter? A 100-pound Retriever that spent the day swimming in a swamp, sprawled out in the middle of your bed on your new duvet...not so much!
Training your Golden Retriever to sleep in a crate at night might be a better option, 'just saying! Having your Golden sleep in a crate at night has several advantages. Besides keeping your bed dog-free, it speeds up house training considerably, gets him accustomed to a crate that can later be used for addressing behavioral issues or traveling, and keeps your pup safe while you are sleeping--an unsupervised dog can chew on dangerous items like electrical cords or sharp objects, or get into food that will make him sick. Your Golden Retriever may not be too happy about the chosen sleeping location at first--your bed, after all, was pretty comfy--but there are several ways to make your Retriever's crate a favorite, safe place, for your dog. Dogs are, after all, “den” animals, and making your dog's crate his den gives him a safe place of his own to sleep quietly at night.
In order to train your Golden Retriever to happily and quietly sleep in a crate at night, you need to make the crate a great place. This means never using it as a form of punishment. Although confining your dog to a crate may be required to keep him out of trouble, it should never be accompanied by punishment or yelling, which will create a negative association with the crate.
The younger you start your Golden Retriever learning to use his crate at night, and to be comfortable with it, the easier it will be to establish it as a quiet retreat your dog is happy to use. You may want to include a verbal command to give your dog direction to get into his crate, such as “kennel up”, “bedtime”, “den” or “crate”. It is not uncommon, especially for young dogs, to cry or whine at night when left in their crates at first. After all, they would rather be snuggled up with you. It is important not to respond to crying, which will only reinforce it. Keep in mind that a puppy or young dog may need to go out for potty breaks in the middle of the night. To avoid having to respond to a crying dog that needs a bathroom break, schedule breaks before your dog starts to vocalize, that way he will not need to alert you, and won't have crying reinforced by being let out of his crate for a midnight romp in the yard.
Hello, my wife and myself we got a Golden Retriever Puppy Male 02 weeks ago (when he was 09 years old) and we have been having very difficult times with the Puppy, even we are very frustrated and we don't how to solve the situation, The first week we put him into the crate to sleep and we did use during the day the motivation with treat to get inside the crate. The firts day he got inside and he was sleeping for 02 ours and after he started to cried and my wife she opened the door to let him to go out and do pee on puppy pads but after 02 days, my wife had to wait for him to fall sleep and some hours after he cried and the same situation were being repeating during the night and my wife was sleeping on the cough until one week later she got fed up of the situation. Then we started to leave him in the crate a night and my wife went back to bed and the puppy slept 05 hours, but the following night, 01 hour he felt asleep he start up to cry, bark and scratching the crate and our kids started to complain that they couldn't sleep and we waith for another 15 minutes and I went down and as soon as he heard my steps he stop of crying and barking and I did opened the door and I didn't sleep that night because he did the same to me, I had to wait for him until he felt sleep. Now we put him into our room but we are using a fence and puppy pads and he goes to the puppy pads during the night and in the morning i put him outside but now he lost the small progress of the pee and potting, everything is a chaos and we don't know what can we do, but we know that we are doing something wrong, also we are concern if we leave him in the crate during long time he could get dehydrate and suffer a phycological trauma. What can we do????
Hello Edwin, In the long run, crate training, taking pup potty outside once during the night, and getting rid of the pee pads will likely be the easiest way to train. I would start by having pup sleep in the crate at night. If you have a large walk-in closet or master bath off your room, the crate can be in there too and pup not seeing you might help pup make the transition easier. I recommend correcting the crying. Normally, if you can be consistent about ignoring pup's cries when its not time to go potty yet, most puppies simply learn to go back to sleep on their own, and the first two weeks are just hard. They will likely need one potty trip during the night for a while, but they can learn to go right back to sleep after that potty trip, and this phase is temporary. Since it sounds like letting pup cry it out isn't feasible in your home, I would move onto correcting. To correct pup, first, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. When he cries at night or early morning, after you take pup potty and return them to the crate, or pup cries before 3-4 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Don't give treats at night/morning though - practice during the day proactively to help pup learn that quiet is good, since you don't want to encourage pup to stay awake in the early morning, but to go back to sleep instead. During the day, I would resume the Crate Training or Tethering method for potty training. I would get rid of all pee pads, since they aren't a good long term option for a breed of his size, and continuing to use them can cause confusion, leading to accidents on carpet and rugs. Crate Training and Tethering methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Expect a couple of weeks that are a bit harder, but you should start seeing gradual progress in all those areas. If not, please feel free to check back here and update with how pup is doing and what is and isn't working. Stay consistent! The more consistent you are, the sooner this gets better in the long run. Pup will have to go potty quite often during the day even while crate training, I recommend letting pup get a treat each time they go outside if they want it, so you don't have to worry about dehydration. At night, most dogs normally go without water all night long and are perfectly fine unless there is a medical issue that needs to be addressed by your vet. I am not a vet. Puppies will often drink tons of water any time you let them for the fun of it though, so often water needs to be scheduled anyway at this age. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Getting issue to sleep and making pee and potting
Hello Edwin, For the potty training, check out the article I have linked below. I recommend the crate training method, or a combination of the crate training method and tethering method, found in that article. Crate Training and Tethering methods for potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside For the sleeping: 1. When pup cries but doesn't have to go potty (like after you return them to the crate when they just went potty outside) be consistent about ignoring the crying until they go back to sleep. The more consistent you are the quicker the overall process tends to take even if it's hard to do for the first couple weeks. At this age, pup will probably still need to go potty 1-2 times per night due to a small bladder. If it's been more than 3 hours since pup last went potty and they wake, crying to go outside, take pup potty, then return them to the crate after. 2. When pup does truly need to go potty (when it's been at least 3 hours since pup last peed), take pup to go potty outside on a leash to keep pup focused and things calmer. Don't give treats, food, play, or much attention during these trips - boring and sleepy is the goal, then right back to bed after. This helps pup learn to only wake when they truly need to go potty and be able to put themselves back to sleep - helping them start sleeping longer stretches sooner and not ask to go out unless they actually need to potty. Pup will generally need 1-2 potty trips at night even after being trained for a couple months though due to a small bladder. 3. Wait until pup asks to go potty by crying in the crate at night before you take them - opposed to setting an alarm clock, unless pup is having accidents in the crate and not asking to go out. This gives pup the chance to learn to start falling back to sleep when they wake in light sleep if they don't really need to go potty, instead of being woken up all the way when they could have held it a bit longer. 4. Practice the Surprise method from the article I have linked below to help pup get used to crate time during the day too - so that there is less crying at night due to pup adjusting to being alone. Surprise method - only give treats during daytime practice, not at night though: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi there, we have had Phoenix, our male golden pup, for about 4 days. He seems to prefer sleeping on the vent cover than the crate. He does go into the crate but only for a few minutes to chew on a chew toy in there or lay for 2-4 min. His food bowl is right outside the door, which we have left open so far. He whined for hours the first two nights and last night we took him out at 12.30 and 4 am proactively and he didn’t whine at all. He still nips and snaps at us and the kids so we would like to crate him more but are unsure how to handle the nipping and the crating time with the door closed. We don’t want the nipping you get worse due to anxiety from crating. We have tried redirecting with chew toys but can’t tell if he is better because he still tries to use his teeth on us. Any advice on Both the nipping/snapping and crating would be appreciated. Thank you!
Hello Ash, For crating crying the first two weeks is completely normal. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below to help pup adjust a bit sooner. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. At the same time however, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if he makes a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told him not to. The order or all of this is very important - the bite inhibition method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When pup gets especially wound up, he probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help him calm down and rest. Also, know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep at it. I also recommend teaching the Out command so that you specifically can instruct pup to give the kids space when needed - pay attention to the sections on teaching Out and using out to deal with pushy behavior specifically. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I'm trying to crate train my golden. So far, she's gotten accustomed to going inside the crate. She brings her toys in there and can hang out in there for a good amount of time just playing with her toys. As soon as I close the crate she starts getting stressed, whines, and scratches at the door trying to get out (I don't want her to hurt herself). Because of this, I've only been able to keep the door closed for maybe a couple minutes, making sure I wait until she stops whining to open the crate. My question is, where is the boundary with training and traumatizing? I want her to get used to the crate door being closed but also don't want her to develop anxiety and associate the crate with a place of anxiety. Thank you!
Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.
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We just got Sadie two days ago, were told by her previous owners she was 4.5 months old "mostly" potty trained. We also have an 8 year old husky mix. Sadie has had many accidents and seems unfazed when we clap hands or tell her no when she pees inside.She seems to be doing well with our other dog. I have two questions, when should she be sleeping through the night in her crate?, is there advice that is different when there is another dog in the home? Our current dog we got at 6 months old and never woke during the night to go out. Also as far as feeding her and removing her food, she gets into our other dogs food. I was hoping to keep both of their food in the same area(our laundry/mudroom) which is where her crate is also. Our older dog is not in a crate at all. Should we keep their food in separate areas?
Hello Holly, First, are you free feeding both dogs and leaving the food out all the time or is she just getting into the other dog's food during meal times? If they are both being free-feeding (food left out), now that you have two dogs they absolutely both need to start being fed on a schedule - you may end up with resource guarding and fights with free feeding. If she is stealing it during meal times, feed the dogs separately. Pup can be fed in her crate until both dogs are finished. When both dogs are not actively eating for 15 minutes, remove the food and wait until the next meal time to give what was left plus the next meal's food. The other option is to literally stand and watch the dogs eat and block pup from getting to your other dog's food each time and herd her back over to her own bowl each time - with a puppy this age, I don't find that that's very realistic for most people because it will take a ton of repetition (probably weeks or a couple months) and needs to be done at every meal. I would treat pup like she isn't potty trained at all. Go back to the basics. Follow the Tethering and Crate Training methods from the article I have linked below. Start with the Crate Training method to be more strict to get her off to the right start. When she is doing really well, you can transition to the Tethering method when you are home if you want to. Disciplining after the fact when she has an accident really isn't very effective for potty training young puppies - it's all about habits and cleanliness. With discipline most puppies just learn not to potty in front of you - which can make outside pottying hard too. It's more important to manage pup's freedom and schedule well enough that puppy doesn't have many opportunities to have accidents inside, and are rewarded for pottying outside, so that they develop a habit of pottying outside and keeping inside clean. Potty training is all about creating a long-term habit in the dog. Tethering and Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Since pup is older, take her out the recommended times in the article linked above at first, but when you have to be gone, she should be able to hold her bladder in the correct size crate for up to 4 hours if necessary. Taking her sooner while you are home will help her learn much sooner though, so take her more often, like the article states, then. As far as night time goes. 5-6 months is generally when most puppies can sleep through the night 8-10 hours. Almost no puppy will sleep through the night before they are crate trained and mostly potty trained though, so those things have to come first. Once pup has those skills, then it's just a matter of pup's bladder capacity growing enough to make it overnight. Keep any nighttime trips outside super boring - no playing or treats at night. After pup potties, take pup straight back inside and put her back into the crate. You don't want to give pup any reason to wake up during the night besides needing to potty or sleeping through the night will take longer. Finally, check out the free pdf e-book AFTER You Get Your puppy. It can be downloaded at the link below: www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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